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The valley was desolate this afternoon. Out with my dog, we came across only a single couple in 2 and half hours. We were greeted at the gate by a dead partially submerged pheasant in the river, caught flapping in the flow, on a couple of rocks, his red head beaming like a target.

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The air was damp, and on the way up a light drizzle started to quietly drench the mossy dry stone walls and blacken the bark of the ancient twisting trees, revealing soft but complex textures.

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Paddy my springer spaniel was in a typically explorative mood, weaving up and down the undulating paths and jutted mounds, seemingly covering every square inch.

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On the way back home, a beautiful mist had softly settled, and the landscape really began to reveal itself. A real pleasure to be out.

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